The Rickmer Rickmers was built in Bremen, in 1896. The three-masted sailing ship is 97 meters (318 feet) long and it served as a German freight ship for many years, travelling back and forth to Asia where it transported rice, bamboo and tea.
My kids also enjoyed exploring the engine room, the small cabins where the crew would sleep, the map room and the more elegant officers’ mess and quarters.
From the deck, there was a good view over the harbor, and a view on all the modern freight ships arriving in Hamburg that provide a clear illustration about how much maritime trade has changed over the past century.
The Rickmer Rickmers had been comandeered by the Portuguese Navy in 1912, and through the 1960s served as a school ship for Portuguese cadets.
Its fortunate that Hamburg bought the ship back in the 1980s, fully restored it, and can now offer it to visitors as an example of what life was like on board for the young sailors at the turn of the 20th century.